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Prince Charming

May 28, 2014

Do you believe your spouse is your Prince or Princess Charming? Now there’s research showing that those who are unrealistically idealistic about their partners are more satisfied with their marriages than the realists.

And the study authors at the University at Buffalo say this idealization seems to thwart the decline in satisfaction that strikes most marriages over time.

Researchers recruited 222 couples as they applied for their marriage licenses. Participants completed surveys every six months for three years. And researchers ranked how idealistic and how realistic each person’s perception was. Those who were unrealistically idealistic actually were happier with their marriage than the others over the three years.

What’s going on? The researchers say the positive outlook — giving your partner more credit than what might be due, and seeing your partner as a closer reflection of your ideal partner than what might be true – probably gives you a stronger sense of optimism that you can resolve problems within the relationship.

The finding flies in the face of conventional wisdom which warns people not to be too “blind” in love.

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